July 19 – WHY revisited!

You may remember from our July 6 we visited the Wick Hill Yomp series (WHY) and accidentally walked off with one of the logs.

This was the day we would return it.

Like most geocachers we didn’t want to just go to the one cache – especially one we had already claimed – so we planned a different route to it – via Simon’s Wood.

Simon’s Wood (and the adjoining Heath Pond) are managed by the National Trust consist of mixed woodland, numerous paths and tracks (most of which are not on maps) and is listed as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The day was very hot, though they had been an overnight thunderstorm, which meant that some of the paths had some large puddles to negotiate.

Cache 1 – “Stumpy” was closest to the car park. First placed back in February 2003 it was hidden not in a stump but behind one. Finding the stump was quite hard as the tree cover made direction finding quite difficult. We were grateful for the two notable hints of 7 and 8 trunked Sweet Chestnuts as this did ensure we were well on target. One of the lrgest caches we’d seen in a long while – these cache sizes seemed to be the norm back in 2003.

Big Cache.. even bigger spelling error!

Big Cache.. even bigger spelling error!

Cache 2 – “Heath Pool”. Our walk through Simon’s Wood took us towards the triangular Heath Pool. Here we paused several times to allow for dog-walkers to pass, before our search started “in a fallen tree”. Typically we started at the wrong end of the ‘fallen tree’ but a few minutes later the log was signed.

Heath Pool

Heath Pool

Cache 2 ... some big log!

Cache 2 … some big log!

Our plan now was to visit WHY 2 to re-deploy the log book.

On our way we passed another cache- this time involving a tree climb. We looked long and hard, but in the end we decided not to attempt climbing 20 feet up wet slippery branches !

So which way to the WHY 2 cache ? We decided to follow the most obvious looking path. It broadly followed the correct direction, and providing it turned left, we’d have done our duty. The path didn’t – it turned right and went behind a row of houses we were fairly certain were on the WHY route… but no way through the large gardens. So we back-tracked and took a small side turning to a little clearing containing 3 large fallen trees. A great place to hide a cache.. but our task was to find WHY 2.
So we walked back to the ‘cache in the tree’ and followed a every-decreasing footpath until it turned through 90 degrees, where it became a bridleway. Pity the horses which come along here ! Steep, slippery, overhanging rhododendrons, and barbed wire on the paths edge. Using our best balancing skills we made it through these obstacles, and arrived at WHY 2 where we eventually replaced the log. As we said in our previous post … sorry we took it!

So one cache left to find .. “One of Three”. Guess what! We had to retrace our steps through the obstacle course, and back to “the cache in the tree” which even on our third visit still didn’t look inviting. The GPS signalled us down a path previously walked… to the clearing with 3 large fallen trees! Grr .. if we looked our GPS earlier we’d have found the cache without undue walking in what was becoming very extreme heat.

Still all we had to do then was head back to the car (passing of course “the cache in the tree” for the fourth (!) time.

Three caches found – and one returned log.. and one cool shower to look forward to.

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